Getting Involved

My name is Elizabeth Tzagournis and I am a second-year undergraduate student at The Ohio State University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with minors in Spanish and general business. In my free time I enjoy writing for the Ohio State student newspaper The Lantern. I am also a member of the Beta Nu chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma as well as the Historian/Alumni Chair for multicultural coed fratority Sigma Epsilon Phi (which is a group for Greek Orthodox students). Additionally, I am involved in the Ohio Union Activities Board which plans events for students including guest lecturers, concerts and presentations. My passions include travel and meeting new and interesting people.

I am also a member of the Beta Nu chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma as well as the Historian/Alumni Chair for multicultural coed fratority Sigma Epsilon Phi (which is a group for Greek Orthodox students). Additionally, I am involved in the Ohio Union Activities Board which plans events for students including guest lecturers, concerts and presentations. My passions include travel and

One of the most important ways students can make the most of their college experiences is by getting involved. Now, I know you’re probably expecting me to go on about how great extracurricular activities look on your resumés and the potential it brings for future job opportunitites (blah, blah, bah)… but that is not the only reason you should be psyched about all there is to pursue. Consider joining a club, intramural sports teams or other organization.
Honestly, the best way to carve out a niche within your own college of several thousand or even tens of thousands is to involve yourself in whatever you love or find interesting. Now, I know this may cut into your Netflix time (don’t worry your Grey’s Anatomy isn’t going anywhere) but I wholeheartedly promise it will be worth it. Here are some tips on how to get off your futon and into experiences that will change your life (cheesy, I know).

1. Student Activity Fairs. Most schools have one or two student involvement or activity fairs throughout the year. This is the Mecca for student organizations and clubs to appeal to all their fellow students (i.e. YOU). This is also where you can talk to current organization members, find out just what their group stands for and decide whether or not what they do interests you. Sign up for groups you could see yourself playing a part in throughout the coming months and years. Student organizations and activities do not only benefit from having members invested in their purpose and goals but you too will gain leadership experience and friendships that will span the course of your college years and beyond.

2. PSA: You can’t do everything. Be selective. As hard as I try to disprove this theory I must include it on the sheer principle that by dividing your efforts your part in organizations can be shallow and insignificant. Instead, try to find a few clubs or groups of which you can really focus and devote your time and efforts. This type of investment will lead to more important roles and leadership opportunities.

3. What should you join? As great as it would be if I could tell you exactly which groups and organizations would lead to infinite happiness and success I’m afraid I’m not that all-knowing (not yet at least). What I can tell you is to make sure you don’t only seek clubs and groups that you think will benefit you in some way (whether that be academically, socially or within your future career). Although the places you choose to spend your time should have a positive impact on your life and future, students can run into problems when they are only joining groups for these reasons. You may come to resent the biweekly meetings or Saturday morning community service — whatever it may be. If you’re not finding enjoyment out of your commitments you are not going to want to stay committed. According to the National Center for Education Statistics about 80% of students in the US change their major at least once and on average change majors about three times over the course of their college careers. If you’re solely joining groups because you think they are going to further your career or academic future, think again.

4. Lastly, try for variety in your involvements. Many of the students and friends I have are some of the most determined and hard-working individuals I know. That being said, as I previously mentioned in tip #3, the organizations you join should not be about simply advancing yourself in a job or career field. People are unique, dynamic and active. Thus they cannot be satisfied with a plate filled with chicken. Add some fruits and veggies to mix it up a little. For those who aren’t accustomed to my metaphors, I’ll further explain. The groups and activities you choose to fill your time with must satisfy you on different levels. Instead of filling your schedule with a million and one sports-related activities, if you’re an incredibly athletic person who loves sports, try to think of other activities that may interest your other passions. If sports are the chicken on your plate your fruits and veggies may be a social group (such as a sorority or fraternity) or a leadership opportunity like student government. Extend yourself past what you think you know. Only then will be able to truly learn what you are made of and grow from there.

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